Sébastien Leban

Tangier, the forgotten island

© Sébastien Leban

Sébastien Leban is a freelance photojournalist who is focused on the consequences of climate change. Located in a swampy zone a hundred miles from Washington DC, Tangier Island is a metaphor for the world’s current environmental denial.

Despite the island gradually sinking into the ocean, the climate-sceptic inhabitants refuse to acknowledge this reality. Here, erosion is gathering pace, swallowing upto 4 metres of coastline every year. At this rate, the island could be gone within 30 years. With no future prospects, young people are fleeing the island and its difficult living conditions. The islanders are largely Republicans and ardent Christians who support current government policy, refusing to admit the urgency of an ecological shift. Ultimately, they risk becoming climate refugees.

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